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OwYHEE: Outdoors with Youth: Hands-on Earth Education

Outdoor & Educational Activities for Kids

There is so much to learn about the incredible natural world that surrounds us. When you learn young to appreciate it from a young age, you get to spend your whole life enjoying and respecting the outdoors. That’s why we are so excited to offer educational outdoor programs for kids! Our community’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, and teaching them about applied sciences like geology and biology can open many doors for them. We believe in letting kids be free to express their creativity and explore their interests, especially while enjoying the outdoors.

Nature Explorers
In association with Ontario Recreation District

Price: $5 per student per session ($20 for the month), snack included

Schedule: 1 hour each week

Sessions: 8 total in spring (4 in April, 4 in May) and 8 total in fall (4 in September, 4 in October)

 

Nature Explorers is a city-based after-school program that meets weekly to teach students ages 6–12 about general science. This outdoor education program is based in Ontario, Oregon, and we offer it twice a year: spring (April and May) and fall (September and October). Each week, we visit a different park in Ontario and discuss a different topic while we play games. Then, we finish it off with a snack!

 

Registration for the entire month is not required—we welcome one-time explorers, too.

Owyhee Science Field Camp

Price: $50 per student-parent team (tuition waivers available)

Schedule: 1 weekend (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon)

Sessions: 1 in spring (May) and 1 in fall (October)

 

Owyhee Science Field Camp is a chance for kids ages 8 and up to get out into the Owyhee and get a camping experience while learning about the Owyhee’s fascinating geology. This is a parent-supported opportunity, so parents and guardians will provide the camp and meals, and Friends of the Owyhee will provide the science education. If you are interested but need help with tuition, transport, or camping gear, please get in touch with us!

Outdoor School

We are huge proponents of Outdoor School! There is nothing like learning about the outside world while being out in it. Oregon Outdoor School is a legislative-supported program that aims to provide ALL Oregonian students in 5th and 6th grades with an Outdoor School experience. In 2020, we worked with Ontario elementary schools to conduct a 4-day trip to the Oregon Coast. Unfortunately, the trip was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop FOTO’s ambition!

 

Already this year, we have designed a curriculum and helped coordinate an Outdoor School experience for 83 5th-grade students and 11 teachers in the Nyssa School District. One day a week for four weeks, students adventured along the Owyhee River below the dam and completed lessons. Some days, the curriculum focused on water chemistry, stream shape, and geomorphology, while other days were for studying plant/animal species, ecology, and even map and compass use!

 

What’s more, we also created a set of short videos and online activities especially for our online-only students. We believe Outdoor School should be an opportunity extended to every student! That’s why we’re also working with Ontario School District to administer a 4-day, in-town Outdoor School program to their 5th-grade classes (nearly 200 students). We are proud to be involved in this amazing, well-funded, Oregon public school program.

Interested in working with FOTO on an ODS program?